Want to play Age of Empires 4 on Linux? Now you can. Another update for Proton Experimental has gone live. What is Steam Play and Proton? See our beginner's guide for more if you're unclear.
As of November 9, Proton Experimental got fixes to allow Age of Empires 4 to work as well as Marvel's Guardian of the Galaxy (although that only works on AMD GPUs currently). Additionally, a rare crash when starting up Baldur's Gate 3 was also solved for this release.
Checking on it myself this morning and yup — Age of Empires 4 works. Once it's set to Proton Experimental it's looking really good. Pictured below running on an NVIDIA GPU:
You may see an error about an AMD GPU drivers, even with an NVIDIA GPU, when trying to launch the game - it can safely be ignored.
Nice to see another huge recent game release working so nicely on Linux less than two weeks after going live. That's a pretty reasonable turnaround time, especially interesting with it being an Xbox Game Studios title, something that is always a little odd seeing load up on Linux. Both single-player and online multiplayer appear to work well.
Performance with all settings turned up to max on 1080p seems to be pretty darn great too, very smooth overall. A very minor graphical issue with objects just out of the fog of war, where you see a strange outline sometimes but other than that it seems to be just fine. Edit: turns out that graphical issue is on Windows too.
See the Proton Experimental changelog to see all the current differences.
Need to know how to actually use Proton Experimental? Here's a simple HOWTO (as it's not complicated!). Make sure it's installed by searching for it in your Steam Library, then select it from the Compatibility menu in the Properties section of a game. See our quick video below:
For an explainer in text form:
- Search for Proton Experimental and install if not already.
- Right click any game on Steam and go to Properties.
- Select the Compatibility menu on the right side.
- Ensure the "Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool" is ticked.
- From the dropdown box that appears select Proton Experimental.